Sunday, 4 December 2011

Quick update

It's been a busy week. I have managed to get around most of the galleries in Ljubljana now, and have been very favourably impressed by the new Moderna Galerija, and the Museum of Contemporary Art- Metelkova, which has been fifteen years in the making and finally opened last weekend. I will put up some discussion of these two places in the next few days. I have also had some pretty good meetings with Slovene art historians and artists, which has been helpful for my ongoing research.

I have an essay that is due by mid-week and unfortunately that is taking up most of my writing labours at the moment. I'm going to try and get something up on here tomorrow, and then put up more writing about Ljubljana and Lipica, where I finally got to see the Černigoj gallery, towards the end of the week.

In Croatia and Slovenia, there have been general elections today. To no-one's surprise, the Croatian right wing governing party- the HDZ, mired in corruption scandals, has spiralled earthward in flames, with no obvious sign of a parachute; a newly concocted social-democratic coalition has won power, by the looks of it. The big shock of the night has taken place here in Slovenia. The leader of a new centre-left party, Zoran Janković, has won a quite stunning victory ahead of the expected winner, the ruthlessly slick and self confident Janez Jansa. Jankovic, the current mayor of Ljubljana, has promised to govern "beyond ideologies" in an attempt to lead Slovenia towards a better tomorrow, but the detail of the journey ahead seems rather scant, at present. I guess the Slovenes will find out in the next few months. Janković is former head of the Slovene Mercator supermarket chain, and seems a strange mix of comforting words, triangulated support (he seems to have a wide appeal amongst both younger voters and former Communists- not least of whom, Milan Kučan) and managerialist efficiency.

There are just over two million Slovenes, so the links between high politics and art are much more clearly established than may be the case in more populated nations. Here's tonight's little known contemporary art fact; the current Slovenian flag was designed, at least in part, by Marko Pogačnik, sometime member of 60s conceptual / anti-art radicals OHO. Pogačnik took the symbol of Mount Triglav from Kun's Slovenian Communist coat of arms, inverted the blue and white, added three yellow stars (representing a brief and failed campaign to gain Slovene independence from the Habsburgs in the fifteenth century, the Celje duchy)


I'll leave you pondering the thorny question of how many other living artists have designed a national flag that is still in use in 2011, whilst I come up with a more substantive post in the next 24 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment